This is part of an ongoing series during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. To engage further in the #QuarantineSoulCare series, click here.
When the world around us insists we be normal and behave like everyone else, what countermands those signals toward normality? Paul insists that the mind is the battlefield in the fight to resist being shaped by the values of the society around us. God demands the renewal of our mind. …
When Paul says in Romans 12:2, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (italics added), he uses a Greek term only rarely found in the New Testament. … In Paul’s understanding, doing what is good wasn’t the same as doing what is conventional. Doing good according to Paul, involved bizarre behavior (for the time), like temperance, respect, self-control, loyalty, love, honesty, and trustworthiness. … When the Spirit renews our minds, all of life becomes an act of worship. That’s because the Spirit not only opens our eyes to see who Christ really is but also breaks our hearts to see who we really are. And rather than this being some deathly experience of unending humiliation, seeing ourselves as broken and in need of a savior actually liberates us. It frees us from self-aggrandizement and throws us on the mercy of God with gratitude and love.
And when that happens, we find within ourselves there’s this growing and nurturing sense of the greatness of God and the beauty of God’s love. We see that love being offered to us in myriad ways, and not only through overtly religious means. All of life becomes charged with the presence of God, and we find ourselves wanting to offer more and more of our lives to God as an act of sacrificial worship. …
As we steadfastly focus on Jesus, devoting ourselves as his students or disciples, the Spirit renews our thinking and our behavior, and we become more like him. He actually transforms us into the image of the Son of God.
Fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
–Romans 12:1-2, The Message